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Tambourine Girl


By Thomas DurbinPublished 11 months ago Updated 11 months ago 3 min read
Tambourine Dancer (or Tambourine Girl) by Luigi Amato

The most beautiful lady Luigi had ever seen was standing there in the summer sun next to the arbor along the street he frequently traveled. She gently held her precious tambourine as she waited for the path to clear. He glanced at her and their eyes met briefly. He smiled broadly, as he always did, when her twinkling eyes met his. Her smile brought great joy to him, yet he scurried along without further delay. Luigi worried that lingering nearby would reveal their budding love before the evening's celebration. The tradition of a seafaring man accepting a dance and revealing the identity of his one true love was an honored and long-lived rite among the people of Spezzano Albanese. Tonight was to be their night.

He would return to the alley where she patiently waited Friday evening to hear her play the tambourine her grandmother had left her while dancing in the traditional style of the local performance artists. Her beautiful dark hair would accent her graceful movements with flashes and swirls that captivated him more deeply than ever. Of course, he was not alone. All of the young men in the community came to see the Friday evening performances and hoped to draw the attention of one of the beautiful tambourine dancers. The ladies longed to be able to move like feathers dancing in the wind as she did. Her movements seemed effortless and natural. Instinct guided her and she translated the sounds of the music played by the musicians of the community and the energy of the crowd into graceful movements relating a story both ancient and new. The history of their people somehow wafted in the gentle breeze as her dress flowed in response to her elegant interpretation of life in the sleepy village near the shores of the Mediterranean sea.

The gentle breeze brought the faint smell of the sea into the village as the community relaxed after another productive week and the seafarers left behind the excitement of the waves to enjoy the traditional celebration with family and friends. The people of Italia enjoyed their rich culture. Their appreciation of honest labor, respect for the sea, and adherence to customs established long ago distinguished them from those pursuing the fleeting pleasures of the modern material-driven marketplace and broadcast media. Traditional musicians and dancers performed along the streets and alleys for their families and neighbors while the bakers and cooks set their aromatic wares upon window sills to share. The seafarers boiled their catch and passed bottles of wine procured from exotic places to the denizens of the community to enliven the atmosphere. The feasts and celebrations highlighted the wonder of a people united in spirit and humbled by their good fortune.

The tambourine girl danced beautifully in the sea-scented breeze as Luigi gazed in wonderment and awe. In an instant he was shaken from the trance. He suddenly realized she was gently swaying in front of him. Her eyes met his. Her beautiful smile beamed sunshine into his mind and color appeared in his cheeks. Luigi gently accepted the hand she offered and began to move along with her into the open alley. He barely heard the whistles and applause offered by the crowd. His eyes were locked onto hers. He was mesmerized by the dark-haired beauty with one hand holding his and her other lifted high above her head shaking her Grandmother's tambourine. They moved lithely in unison as deftly as only two young lovers with hearts beating as one can move. She twirled and spun under his arm as they seemingly floated across the bricks of the alley. Tambourine at her hip, they stepped out then back. A flex of their knees propelled them to the tips of their toes and their hands reached for the stars. Clasping hands as they gathered for another spin, her tambourine shook in time to the melody of the song the musicians played for Luigi and the beautiful tambourine girl. Luigi captured the beauty, grace, innocence, and power of his true love in the masterpiece that celebrates their love to this very day.


About the Creator

Thomas Durbin

Raised in rural east-central Illinois, I appreciate nature and the environment. I'm a father, grandfather, professional engineer-scientist, leader, scouts leader, coach, stoic, minimalist, costumer, historian, traveler, and writer.

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